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Jack N. Gerard, former president of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and a long-time advocate of expanded offshore drilling, was elected president of the American Petroleum Institute (API) by the board of directors last Monday, succeeding Red Cavaney, who will leave Oct. 31 after 30 years with the institute. The board also named Devon Energy CEO J. Larry Nichols chairman, making him the first CEO of an independent oil and natural gas company to hold that position at the API, which represents producers mostly on issues before Congress. Although he represented chemical companies as head of the ACC, Gerard has been deeply involved in energy issues -- particularly as a critic of the ban on drilling in the federal Outer Continental Shelf and its impact on natural gas prices. Nichols co-founded Devon with his father and has been a director since 1971. He was named chairman of the board of directors in 2000, served as president of the company between 1976 and 2003, and has been CEO since 1980. Cavaney will join ConocoPhillips' office in Washington, DC, as senior vice president of government and public affairs. At the ACC, Gerard has been succeeded by Cal Dooley, most recently CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and a former congressman representing California.

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